Island Cricket

Saturday, January 19, 2008

[Video] Ishara Amerasinghe on debut

Click here for video of Ishara Amerasinghe on debut

Ishara is one of 6 fast bowlers picked for the CB Series in Australia next month. According to Sa'adi Thawfeeq on Cricinfo fast-bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake Considers Ishara as the second fastest bowler in the country next to Lasith Malinga. On debut he didn't seem to be a 'tear away' quick bowler more a steady line and length type bowler.
His selection to Australia in early 2008 came as no surprise because the national selectors were looking for a suitable replacement for the injured Dilhara Fernando and some variety in the fast-bowling line up, someone who could make the batsmen hurry their strokes on the pacy pitches.

The six-foot tall Amerasinghe, with his high-arm action and ability to regularly bowl at 140 kph, fitted the role perfectly. At 29, it would seem a late age for a fast bowler, but Amerasinghe has been around for some time, having first toured England with the Sri Lankam team in 2002. He was kept waiting for another five years - partly owing to a back injury sustained during that tour - before making his ODI debut against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi after the 2007 World Cup. He has been a regular member of the Sri Lanka A squad since 1999, the season in which he performed outstandingly well, taking 58 wickets from 12 matches in the Premier League for Colombo Colts. That performance opened a window of opportunities for him to tour South Africa, with the A team, and then England.

Ramanayake admits that Amerasinghe has the pace to unsettle batsmen but lacked the accuracy during his early days. Some hard work at the nets with Ramanayake and ' team coach Chandika Hathurusingha, two individuals who have been instrumental in shaping his career in recent years, resulted in an improved line and length. He can be a potent force if conditions suit him. Amerasinghe's affiliation to cricket came at the age of eight. Even before he played for a school first XI he had shown his potential at division II club cricket, representing Colombo CC. He was spotted by Jayantha Seneviratne, a former Sri Lanka cricketer and presently a national selector, who encouraged him to come to Nalanda College and in his only season he took 68 wickets from 11 matches. He joined Burgher RC from where he kept on switching clubs, moving to Colombo Colts, Nondescript CC, Galle CC and back to Colts where he is currently settled, reaping the benefit of bowling alongside Chaminda Vaas. - Sa'adi Thawfeeq


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